Am I a Monkey? Review

This week, I had the pleasure of taking a little break from Tim Keller’s The Reason for God, and I read a short book by Francisco Ayala called Am I a Monkey?: Six Big Questions about Evolution. It’s a cute little book in which the author explains evolution as simply as he can to the layperson. I think these explanations benefit not only those who don’t believe in evolution because they don’t understand it, but also those like me, for whom a refresher could never hurt.

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How the Fine-Tuning Argument Made Me an Atheist

“The universe just seems to be so finely tuned.” “How can you look around at this world we live in and not believe that it was designed?” “Do you really believe that this all came about by chance?”

Whether you’re a theist or an atheist, it’s likely that you’ve either said or heard these things more times than you can remember. The argument for the fine-tuning of our universe is one of the most popular among apologists and counter-apologists, and for good reason. Not only can it include an appeal to emotion and experience, but the science of it all has fascinated great minds for centuries, including that of the late Stephen Hawking. So what really is the fine-tuning argument?

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How Many Creationists Does It Take to Refute Evolution?

Recently, I came across a post on my old church’s website that a few months back, they hosted a presentation by a creationist on “The Best Evidence Against Evolution.” You may know that a while ago, I wrote a series for this blog trying to discover the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod‘s official stance on evolution. In the end, it seemed that they decisively hold to young earth creationism, although the church still has no definitive stance on whether evolution is actually true.

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Sapiens Review

If you follow me on Goodreads, then you may have seen the painstakingly slow journey I have been on in the past months with Yuval Noah Harari’s nonfiction bestseller Sapiens. It felt a bit like a textbook at times, which contributed to it being a pretty slow read. But it was definitely something that I wanted to read all the way through, because most of its readers have been raving about it since its publication in 2015.

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My First Time Responding to a Pro-Life Christian

This is one of those weeks when I spent days waffling back and forth about what to write about come Saturday. I had considered writing a response to some anti-abortion videos I saw about a month ago, but I had no idea how to go about it. I am not too well-versed within the abortion debate, so I didn’t know if it would be worth trying to put my thoughts on it together in a blog post. But as I was re-watching these videos from Christian YouTuber Becca Eller, I saw that she, too, had been nervous to talk about abortion but decided to give it a try anyway. So I’m giving my response to her videos a try too.

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A Simple Explanation of Occam’s Razor

In my last post within my Back to Basics series, I gave a breakdown of and an objection to the Kalam Cosmological Argument. In the post, I pointed out that William Lane Craig, the best known modern proponent of the argument, believes that Occam’s Razor backs up his claim that God is the simplest explanation of the beginning of the universe. I rebutted his points in that I believe that the Kalam Argument, and its ultimate claim—”God did it”—couldn’t even be saved by Occam’s Razor, because they were too simple.

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The Kalam Cosmological Argument

There are a handful of famous arguments for the existence of a god. Some have been around for centuries, and new arguments are popping up every day. One such argument is the kalam cosmological argument. A classic which has recently been re-polished and re-popularized, it has withstood the test of time in its field.

The kalam cosmological argument sounds a lot more complex than it really is. There’s not much more to it than a simple, yet flawed, syllogism of three steps. They are: Continue reading “The Kalam Cosmological Argument”

The Evolution of My Book Collection

I love books. It’s debatable whether I love reading more than I love browsing at bookstores and just hoarding books, but book collecting has probably become my #1 hobby. I’d say that reading itself is a close second.

A few weeks ago, I chronicled “my life in books,” shared what kinds of young adult fiction I was into as a teenager, and told a little about when I started reading again when I got The God Delusion in college. Since then I’ve bought over 130 other “atheist” books, which might sound crazy, and honestly, it probably is. But almost all of my books are used, and most were less than $5 each.

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What I Believe as an Atheist

When someone finds out that a loved one is an atheist, they tend to have a lot of questions. One question I was asked when coming out was “If you don’t believe in God, then what do you believe?” I was confused by the question at the time. What do you mean, what do I believe? I thought. About what? Morality? Science? The cosmos? Music? Pineapple on pizza? After thinking about it further, I think that “So, what do you believe?” is a pretty good question to ask an atheist, since all you can assume to know about an atheist is that there’s one thing they certainly don’t believe in, and that’s a god or gods. Everything else is up in the air. Continue reading “What I Believe as an Atheist”

Only a Theory Review

As I mentioned in last week’s post, I’ve been wrapping up another book, and this week I finally finished it! I read Kenneth Miller’s Only A Theory: Evolution and the Battle for America’s Soul, which arose from the 2006 court case Selman v. Cobb County School District.

This dispute began innocently, with textbook publisher Prentice Hall and a run-of-the-mill biology textbook. Frustratingly, but not surprisingly, the religious climate in Georgia at the time made teaching honest biology harder than it should be. The Cobb County School District included with every biology textbook a sticker: Continue readingOnly a Theory Review”